How to Overcome the Voice of Judgment

Action steps for limiting the power of negative thought.

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When you think about pursuing your dreams, do you ever hear the "voice of judgment"? It's that snide little voice saying, "yeah, right," and giving a negative spin to whatever you're looking at.

That voice is far too common, and it can be a huge obstacle to creating our dreams. Most of us have it hanging over our heads in some way, limiting what's possible.

Maybe it's a constant feeling that what we do is never quite good enough (shades of perfectionism). Maybe it's a judgment about the path we'd like to take but won't let ourselves even consider (what would people think?). We're constantly judging ourselves, others, and the world around us, and often it's completely counterproductive.

Stop and listen for a moment. Do you have a voice of judgment? Learning to recognize that voice—and to limit the impact it has on how you experience your life—may be one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. And as you do, you may find your horizons start to expand.

Try this: Get to know your voice of judgment. Keep a journal about it. Record what it has to say, and then ask:

  • Is there anything to learn there? Sometimes insight that can help us move forward gets lost in the voice's negativity.
  • Is that valid? The extreme negativity of the voice often borders on the absurd.
  • Are there different ways to look at that? Don't let the voice trap you in an artificially narrow and negative picture of reality.
  • What would I think if this were someone else's life? We are often much harder on ourselves than we would ever think of being on others.
  • After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.

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    Say No to Black-and-White Thinking
    How to Handle Failure
    Assume Success Is Inevitable

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